SWEAT

A bird's eye view of where the river Tietê, São Paulo used to be, and is now is dried and filled with cars, appearing to have been abandoned in the middle of a traffic jam. Green trees and bushes grow above many car tops, between concrete walls.

I try to remember and all I can taste is earth.

I am writing this days after the Ahr river flooded in the west of Germany, killing 184 people.* The pictures, a friend says, look photoshopped, as they show me how to move the cursor from right to left, displaying the before and after scenes. All I can think is ‘less green.’ The same friend tells me of the flooding of the Elbe river that happened in 2002, and that it was Eurocentrically named “the flood of the century” (Jahrhundert Flut). After all, most floods of this century have not covered European soil. The broken banks are presented as a governmental failure to predict, re-inforce, and secure. Control measures failed and Germany’s immunity to climate disaster has been torn a little, despite the appearance of success. The holy see it as a message from God, the capitalists call it a time for harder intervention and more capable management, and time travellers say, as with every so-called year, this is the year of the bog.

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An image of a social distancing messaging sticker in the Berlin subway. The decal features 3 corgis in outline, indicating the appropriate distance.

Touch As In

During a time that transmuted touch into a mere theoretical, that differentially and differently affected the people around me, I felt an impulse to gather together—an attempt at a grand, unified theory of the sensory, particularly of touch.

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